Namecheap, the domain registrar, has announced that it will now take bitcoin as a form of payment for its services. It also claims that it is the first major domain registrar to do so. This has come after a wave of popular demand for the cryptocurrency. Not only that, but also in response to popular demand, it will accept payment in bitcoin with "zero confirmations" (i.e. the transaction has not yet been verified in the global block chain) so as to provide an instant service to customers.
It's a notable risk for Namecheap to accept zero-confirmation transactions. This means that they would be providing services to customers before they actually receive the money. In turn, the digital cash would not come through to the company until confirmations in the block chain had been made.
Announcing zero confirmation transactions now with Bitcoin. More info: http://t.co/UiVYCeEK6f
— Namecheap.com (@Namecheap) July 16, 2013
Namecheap said on its blog:
Namecheap is a customer-focused domain name registrar and web host. For months, Bitcoin has been requested of Namecheap among the tech audience. We're pleased to announce that we've listened to your feedback.
Namecheap continues to innovate and respond to threats and challenges in the online space. In the last 13 months, we donated over $100,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to support online freedom. We consider ourselves the pioneers in the space in innovation and freedom.
Namecheap received some notoriety during the public outcry in the US against the SOPA bill. It joined in with the Move Your Domain Day, which was a protest against Go Daddy's (another well known registrar) support of SOPA.
Do note that if you're looking for .bit domains paid for with Namecoins, you'll have to look elsewhere.